Awhina Andrew, a wheelchair-bound Raumati South resident, is participating in Wellington's Cigna Round the Bays event.

Having had cerebral palsy since birth Awhina is always keen to try new things.

"My cousin Bernadette Awatere signed me up through the Achilles organisation.

"I'm always looking for the next thing, using the ability that I have, pushing through my disability and not letting it stop me."


Awhina has talked about doing the event for years after her friends at the Laura Fergusson Trust residential facility participated in the event.

"This is my first athletic-type thing.

"I'm a little nervous but more excited."

Bernadette and her friends will be walking beside Awhina who can reach speeds of up to 25kmh in her electric wheelchair.

Since moving back to New Zealand, Bernadette signed Awhina up after discovering many "beautiful and accessible" walks in Wellington that she wants Awhina to experience.

"I'd just love for her to be part of the wider Wellington able community, to walk with her and for her to experience how great the Wellington community is on this day," Bernadette said.

"I hope to help her create some memories and maybe this will encourage and inspire our own family and others to get out and walk with their whanau.

"We will be wearing Awhina's chosen colour, purple to support her.

Awhina has been going out every day with her mum to her local Matthews Park or Marine Gardens to train.

"I haven't been extensively training, but still training."

Not only is Awhina stepping out of her comfort zone and participating in the event but she is doing the 10km event.

Achilles is the official charity of the event with every registration providing $1 to be donated to Achilles, as well as further donations that can be made at the point of registration.

Cigna head of sales and marketing Suzanne de Geus said, "We are proud to support Achilles New Zealand and our staff to take part in Cigna Round the Bays, and enjoy everything the event has to offer.

"Helping our communities maximise their health and wellbeing is a huge priority for us."

For Cigna it was exciting to be able to work with Achilles and get people like Awhina involved.

"It's exciting to see that donations for Achilles are already up 56 percent on this time in 2017," de Geus said.

"In 2017 we were able to present Achilles with a cheque for $20,000 and hope, at this rate, we will be able to do that again."